Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 240
Themes: sexual assault, rage, kidnapping, domestic violence, shelters
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Apr/2015
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Nobody understands why Tori has suddenly become so moody and violent. When she attacks a stranger in a store, she ends up doing community service at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She bonds with a little girl named Casey, but when Casey is abducted while in Tori’s care, Tori is racked with guilt, certain that she should have been able to prevent the abduction. During the search for Casey, Tori comes face to face with an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her at a party. Only when she speaks out about the assault is she able to begin to heal.

Kirkus Reviews
"Tori's emergence from trauma is lightly sketched, a shorthand recovery that relies on narrative conventions rather than character development—making for an easy read about a hard topic, which is no bad thing. Unusually, her coming of age requires not that she stop being violent but that she learn to apply violence appropriately. A fast-paced book about healing through helping others, speaking up and physical self-defense."
Recently Read blog
"An explosive and addictive story that will grip the reader with suspense from the jabbing first sentences until the end...A compelling, moving and powerfully emotional story. Highly Recommended."
School Library Journal
"The first-person present-tense narration gives a sense of immediacy and pulls readers along with the protagonist as she seeks ways to stop feeling helpless in the aftermath of the assault...While comparisons to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak (Farrar, 1999) are inevitable, Tori’s journey is her own and will provide another option for encouraging necessary discussions on sexual assault."
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"Krossing provides a modern version of an age-old story, with a very real, very strong heroine. Tori’s flaws make her believable, while her growth makes her admirable."
CM Magazine
"Krossing’s novel touches on several themes, including having the strength to speak out against violence, the realities of domestic violence, abduction and learning to heal...The novel’s action keeps the pages turning...[and] offers readers strong female characters...Recommended."
Publishers Weekly
"While Krossing...acknowledges the importance of self-defense, the story makes clear that sharing one’s pain is equally important. Tori’s anger is palpable throughout, and her emotional evolution is empowering."
Marthe Jocelyn, author
"Fierce and compelling, Krossing's characters are vividly drawn and very human."
"A very personal look at the effects of sexual assault on a teenage girl and how she deals with it, an important story to tell. [Krossing] does a good job telling it from the perspective of the teenage victim."
YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"This book is incredible because it raises awareness of a problem in the world that is truly horrible. It teaches girls to fight back and speak out. Be strong."
Raves and Faves blog
"This story begins with a bang. Tori is in distress and her fury simmers throughout the novel...The writing is raw and in your face; as Tori's issues escalate, the reader tries to keep up. I found myself judging Tori, yet caring about her enough to be curious as to how far she'd go, where her choices would take her...Punch Like a Girl finishes with a punch, leaving the reader satisfied."
School Library Connection
"This cast of memorable characters leaves readers with a story that is a powerful testament to loving relationships—with family, friends, and most importantly, ourselves."
EducationNOW, Center for Educational Improvement
"Punch Like a Girl provides a riveting, suspenseful, and compelling story that helps readers understand the importance of speaking out, being strong, and fighting back."
AWS Publishing
"Delivers a knockout blow to the idea that women who experience sexual violence need to suffer in silence...Punch Like a Girl sends a powerful message to women of all ages...It's an inspiring story of redemption, and perseverance."


Joan F. Kaywell Award for Books that Save Lives  | 2017 | Runner-up

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